LISTEN: ICMA and Management Partners present Budgeting in a Crisis: Responding to the COVID-19 Recession

The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly changing the landscape of local government revenue, producing much uncertainty about the future. To help cities understand the extent of their fiscal challenges and formulate strategies to adapt, Management Partners has developed the COVID-19 Emergency Fiscal Diagnostic Tool. The tool uses a city’s own budget data to forecast revenues based on the current economic downturn. It includes a range of scenarios tied to assumptions about the downturn’s severity and a look at how soon General Fund resources might be depleted.

Our COVID-19 Emergency Fiscal Diagnostic Tool equips a city’s management team to develop solutions with elected officials, staff and community members. It provides policy makers clear information and a way to communicate how the pandemic is affecting local government revenues.

The tool draws on:

    • Recent and budgeted revenues and expenditures,
    • Starting reserve level,
    • Pre-recession revenue growth rates,
    • Growth rate of expenditures by type, and
    • A range of assumptions for the magnitude and duration of a coronavirus recession.

We offer three tiers of service for the tool:

  1. Using the diagnostic tool to construct a near-term financial model, collaborate with staff about interpreting the results and implications, and present the results in an easy-to-understand slidedeck.
  2. Engaging with the management team to develop and analyze possible solutions based on the financial outlook as shown through the fiscal diagnostic tool.
  3. Presenting the COVID-19 Emergency Fiscal Diagnostic Tool, along with possible solutions, in a workshop setting with Council to obtain feedback and policy direction.

The finance experts at Management Partners have extensive experience helping cities in fiscal distress. We have assisted three California cities emerge from bankruptcy and have created fiscal models and budget strategies for dozens more. The members of our team each have decades of experience working with municipal budgets and helping clients overcome financial challenges.

With the pandemic causing unprecedented economic freefall, our COVID-19 Emergency Fiscal Diagnostic Tool will help you understand what the immediate future could look like and begin to formulate ways to respond to it. To learn more, please contact Nancy Hetrick at or 408-437-5400.